Category: Learning Design

Expectations About Studying and Syllabi

Recently we’ve seen more attention paid to self-regulated learning as it pertains to student success, especially for at-risk college students (especially first-year students). At least we are starting to recognize the serious contribution of the student in efforts at retention and learning. Anyways, I digress. Self-regulated learning (or SRL) involves students evaluating what they know, deciding what they need to learn, choosing strategies to bridge that gap, and then … actually using those strategies. Unfortunately, there seems to be a KAP (knowledge attitude practice) gap that is between students and their best intentions towards success. I found this dissertation, A Qualitative Inquiry...

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The “Please Grade Early” Option

This semester I am more mindful than ever that some of my students are in extremely stressful circumstances. Between the normal stresses students face (family health issues, paying for college, etc), I also have students who are refugees, who have family members that might be deported, international students wondering if they will be sent back home soon, and LGTBQ students worried about their safety and place in society. Some students can take the stress of an exam on top of all of this, and for others its the tipping point to really being overcome with anxiety. Because I’m an...

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Learning at Scale Slides from ICTCM

Learning at Scale: Using Research To Improve Learning Practices and Technology for Teaching Math In the last 5 years, there has been a rise in what we might call “large-scale digital learning experiments.”  These take the form of centralized courses, vendor-created courseware, online homework systems, MOOCs, and free-range learning platforms. If we mine the research, successes, and failures coming out of these experiments, what can we discover about designing better digital learning experiences and technology for the learning of mathematics? Learning at Scale: Using Research To Improve Learning Practices and Technology for Teaching Math from Maria Andersen   Possibly...

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Elaborations for Creative Thinking in STEM

As I watch the proliferation of digital learning platforms, particularly in STEM education (where there are lots of objective-type problems), I am excited by the increased focus on learning and adaptivity but also a little uneasy. For the most part the motivations to “go digital” are pure – increase access to courses that students need, provide help that is more tailored to each student, give immediate feedback, provide more practice if the student wants it, and let students move at their own pace. My worry is that math and science students aren’t getting anything but highly-structured problems. Every problem that a...

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Better to be Frustrated than Bored

For all of you who have taught students, you know that one of the rewards is seeing the “Aha moments” that students experience. One of the downsides (to instructors) of teaching online is that it is hard to “see” the reward of the “aha” in the same fulfilling way. The reason we should care about the aha moments that students experience is that this kind of moment is tied closely to an emotional feeling. And memories with emotional attachments tend to be stronger (more memorable) than ones with no emotional attachment. But have you ever stopped to think about...

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